British holidaymakers to the Maldives have been warned to “remain vigilant” after a knife attack on three foreigners by extremists.

The alert was issued by the Foreign Office at the height of the tourist season in the Indian Ocean archipelago.

The victims, two Chinese citizens and an Australian, were attacked on Hulhumals, an island north of the capital of Male

The men were reported to be stable in hospital. One was a Chinese tourist while the Australian and other Chinese victim were working on the island.

The FCO said that while most visits are trouble free, “terrorists are likely to try to carry out attacks in the Maldives.

“Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers including tourists.

The FCO said in updated travel advice: “On 6 February 2020, the Maldives police confirmed the arrest of three people in relation to a knife attack on foreign residents in Hulhumale.

“The attack was claimed by an extremist group. You should remain vigilant.”

A group declaring an affiliation with Isis reportedly claimed responsibility in a video posted on social media. In the video, three masked men accused the Maldivian government of being run by infidels and warned that more attacks were coming.

The FCO said: “Away from the exclusive resort islands, gang related violence including knife crime has increased recently, including in the capital Male and in Hulhumale.

“There is no evidence that British nationals are being targeted. You should be vigilant when travelling to areas outside of resort islands.

“The most common problems faced by visiting British nationals are lost and stolen passports, and swimming and diving related accidents.”